Medazzaland Facts and Stats

I have to apologize for the lateness of today’s blog.  I have been completely swamped with trying to complete a lot of grading while writing new curriculum.  I hoped to get to this earlier today but…well, you can see how well my plans are going.  Anyway, last weekend, I took time to evaluate the first of the three albums that Duran Duran has released in the month of October.  That album, of course, was Big Thing and that blog you can read here.  Today, I’ll give some facts and statistics about Medazzaland released in 1997.  In later blogs, I’ll look at Astronaut and the albums released in November.

Medazzaland Facts:
Released October 14, 1997 in North America, Japan, Brazil and Argentina but never released physically in Europe.
Produced by TVMania and Syn Pro Tokyo.  (It appears to me then as it was mostly produced by the band.)
There were 12 tracks on the album.

Singles:

  1. Out of My Mind
    Released: 27 March 1997
  2. Electric Barbarella
    Released: 16 September 1997

Peak Chart Position:

  1.  Out of My Mind peaked at #21 in the UK
  2. Electric Barbarella peaked at #52 in the US

Personnel:

As I’m sure you all know, the band at this time was just Simon, Nick and Warren.  A fact that you might not know, though, is that Warren played bass on the tracks that John did not.  Anyway, others filled in to complete the album including:

  • John Taylor – bass (tracks 1, 2, 7, and 11)
  • Steve Alexander – live drums (tracks 1, 2, 5, 7)
  • Anthony J. Resta – live drums (tracks 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12), additional production, mixing and programming
  • Dave DiCenso – live drums (track 4)
  • Tim Garland – treated soprano sax solo (track 9)
  • Talvin Singh – tabla and santoor (track 4)
  • Jake Shapiro – cello (track 10)
  • Sally Stapleton – background vocals (track 2)
  • Madeleine Farley – background vocals (track 6)
  • Mayko Cuccurullo – ultra high vocal fx (track 1)

Videos:

They did complete two videos from this album, for both singles:

Out of My Mind:

Electric Barbarella:

EPK (Electronic Press Kit:

Touring:

The Ultra Chrome, Latex and Steel Tour began in November of 1997 in the Northeast United States.  They traveled throughout the US and Canada.  At the end of that tour, they did a tribute show and a special show to launch SKY Digital TV in the UK.  In December 1998, they did the Latest and Greatest Tour in the UK before returning to the US in the fall of 1999.  The end of 1999 saw a mini-tour, Overnight Sensation, in Ireland, the UK, the US, and Chile.  Here are a couple of clips to show off those tours:

Beyond all of these facts, many Duranies have strong feelings about this album.  For many, it represents when John Taylor left the band or when some really stopped paying attention.  For others, it equaled heavy involvement as the band seemed more accessible.  Many loved the experimental music while others have yet to buy a copy or listen to it all the way through.  Next weekend, I’ll share my thoughts on the album.  Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences about the Medazzaland album and era.

-A

4 thoughts on “Medazzaland Facts and Stats”

  1. I just picked this one up in September after a long break from Duran. I saw them in September in concert and decided that I wanted to go back and “catch up”. I didn’t love it at first but it is definitely growing on me. I especially like Electric B and Medazzaland (mostly because it’s Nick’s voice and I LOVE that!). I have to admit that the albums without John have been my least favorites but I can find something that I love on every album!

  2. As you know I love this album…but aside from that there was recently a huge debate on another DD message board as to whether or not Out of My Mind can be considered Medazzaland’s first single since the album came out six months later (vs. a single off of The Saint soundtrack). I don’t really have an opinion except to say that I find the things that get debated in DD fandom to be hilarious (you have to see this debate it went on for like 8 pages…you would have thought it was an Andy vs. Warren thread…)

  3. My two thoughts on Medazzaland. To be completely truthful on my first listen I was basically wth? Overall, it sounded so hard and dark that I felt that they were going somewhere that I couldn’t follow. It just didn’t fit with anything they’d done before, and almost completely lacked those upbeat, fun/dance songs we’ve come to know and love.

    BUT, I stuck with it and after a few more listens finally had an ‘A-ha’ moment! This was their ANGRY album, and it did take us somewhere we hadn’t been before, but understanding the underlying motivations allowed me to not only realize what Medazzaland was about, but to also accept and enjoy it for what it is. And, the one song that really hit that mark was So Long Suicide, a dark song to be sure, but with some of the most amazing lyrics and singing and playing that Simon, and the band, have ever done. And, when I finally heard many of the demos it made me truly appreciate the album even more, the original version of So Long Suicide is even more brilliant, imho. On top of it all, it’s also their most experimental, avant-garde album which makes it unique all in itself.

    I completely understand why many fans don’t have, or can’t find a spot for this album in their hearts, but if they can they’ll know that we’ve all had those moments in our lives where things weren’t what we wished them to be. However, they can be just as important and integral for what is to come, and heartfelt in the moment they describe.

    To sum things up, at first Medazzaland was the ‘angry’ album I thought I wouldn’t be able to accept, but has since become one that I wouldn’t want to be without and am glad the band was brave enough to do it. I just wish they’d gone with most of the original versions and not tried to stamp John’s influence out of MDZ because it is that much better an album with all his bass work in there, than without.

  4. I remember going to the music store to buy this CD. I was headed home for fall break from college and was ready to listen to it (via those old contraptions that attached your Discman to your car’s cassette deck and the cigarette lighter!). I had the Out of My Mind single because it came out with the movie The Saint and I liked it, but I have to say this CD disappointed me at first. I was not a fan of the electronica that seemed to be everywhere in the late 90s, so this album didn’t resonate with me as the Duran sound I knew.

    I thought I saw this album on tour in fall 99, but as I read your dates, I realize I went to the Let It Flow tour, which came right after Medazzaland and before Pop Trash. Obviously, not seeing John in the lineup was a big change.

    Even now, this album is not one I go back to, but I can appreciate some of the tracks now in a way that I couldn’t then, and I can understand why Duran Duran took chances with different sounds.

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